The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has said that the Nigerian economy lost about N700 billion to the #EndSARS protests held in major cities across the country in the last 12 day.
In a press statement issued Monday titled “The Economic Implications of the #EndSARS Protests,” the LCCI said the protests have had enormous impact on businesses.
The statement, signed by the President of LCCI, Mrs. Toki Mabogunje, said urban dwellers have been most affected by the protests.
“The LCCI is, however, concerned about the negative impact that the protracted nature of the #EndSARS protests has on business activities across the country,” the statement said.
“Over the past twelve days, economic activities have been crippled in most parts of the country and have been particularly profound in the urban areas. The Nigerian economy has suffered an estimated ₦700 billion loss in the past twelve days.”
The LCCI noted that the #EndSARS protest has been impactful and profound as it has been able to demonstrate the power of the people and the potency of the energy of the youth to bring about change.
The Chamber added that the protest has achieved some significant outcomes given the reawakening that it has generated in reforming the shortcomings in our political governance and the fact that some of the demands of the protesters have been met.
The LCCI says it would “recommend that the protesters progress to the next stage of civic engagement, which is the dialogue phase of this struggle.”
It warned that this is necessary to reduce the massive disruptions, blockades and barricades around our major cities and interstate highways.
“These actions have been at great cost to the economy and the welfare of Nigerian citizens,” the Chamber said.
“It should be noted that our economy is still reeling from the shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic and struggling to recover from its devastating effects.”
Mabogunje stated that the protest has started to witness various unintended outcomes in spite of its positive and noble objectives and warned that “there is a great risk that the situation may degenerate into a case of the complete breakdown of law and order, which is certainly not in consonance with the objectives of the #EndSars peaceful protests. It is important to avoid a situation where even more hardship is inflicted on the very citizens that the protesters are seeking to protect.”
The LCCI also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to grant audience to the leadership of the #EndSars to deliberate on the way forward and to agree on an action plan for the delivery of agreed outcomes.
It also advised the government to commit to rapid improvement in governance quality and accountability by effecting necessary institutional, policy and regulatory reforms not only for the police but the entire public sector ecosystem.
In the last two weeks, thousands of Nigerian youth have taken to the streets to express their grievances over Police brutality. The protests have since caused disruption to businesses and the larger economy. On Tuesday, the Lagos State Government announced a 24-hour curfew in Nigeria’s economic hub centre. The announcement came against the backdrop of violence and unrest in major parts of the state. A Police Station was set on fire by hoodlums in Orile-Iganmu area of the state earlier on Tuesday.
#EndSARS is unprecedented moment in Nigerian history. What does it mean to you? What do you want it to change? How can we ALL build on it in transforming Nigeria into a country that works for ALL of us and not only for a few of them?
Arbiterz will like to hear from you too. Send your opinion -300/400 words-to firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com. You MAY include a picture of yourself, which may be from the #EndSARS battleline where you are helping to push the old Nigeria into the abyss.